The landline

When you’ve forgotten your door keys, and the batteries in the doorbell are flat, and your teenage son can’t hear the door knocker, and he keeps his mobile on silent when he’s asleep, then a good, old-fashioned, landline phone is essential.   Photo on

A writer is …

A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. Thomas Mann A great quote, courtesy of Michael Wade at Execupundit. Mann was a German writer famous for Death in Venice (remember the strangely haunting Dirk Bogarde film?) and The Magic Mountain. The latter made me aware of […]

A dictionary to go – Cultural Offering

I’m indebted, once again, to Kurt at Cultural Offering for this image and the steer towards the Oxford English Dictionary’s phone app. The splendidly bearded fellow above is James Murray, first editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. My own copy – of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary – was and still is an incredibly useful […]

John Perry Barlow on Cassidy

I came across this beautifully written piece from Barlow describing the origins of the song Cassidy: Then my father began to die. He went into the hospital in Salt Lake City and I stayed on the ranch feeding cows and keeping the feed trails open with an ancient Allis-Chalmers bulldozer. The snow was three and […]

Sad news: John Perry Barlow

Awoke today to read that John Perry Barlow has died. He was remarkable Renaissance Man: a cattle rancher, song-writing partner of the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and a pioneer of the internet, co-founding the Electronic Frontier Foundation. See the BBC’s obituary, here. And, the EFF’s announcement, here. Here’s Barlow talking about one of his Barlow-Weir […]

Gladstone’s Library – a place to retreat and write?

The UK’s only residential, and apparently its only Prime Ministerial, library, Gladstone’s Library in North Wales looks idyllic. Hat tip to Cultural Offering for posting a cosy picture earlier in January. I have to confess I hadn’t heard of it before. Now I want to go. And stay. And sleep with books.         […]

Stories for powerful presentations – Nicholas Bate

As part of his Awesome Presenting 50 series, Nicholas Bate reminds us: More stories. Definitely more stories. Stories are memorable: they have links, flow, drama. They are easy to remember. Bullets are forgettable.   Remember! Read the rest, here.   Photo by Mark Rasmuson on Unsplash

Text and messaging apps – asynchronous or synchronous?

… and the anxiety of expectation. Here’s a great piece from Julie Beck on How It Became Normal to Ignore Texts and Emails. People don’t need fancy technology to ignore each other, of course: It takes just as little effort to avoid responding to a letter, or a voicemail, or not to answer the door […]

Magicians and neuromarketers – @rogerdooley

Neuromarketing expert Roger Dooley has a great post on the lessons we can  learn from stage magicians For example: The Unexpected Attracts Us When I watch a magician, I’m always trying to pay close attention to spot any shady moves. So is the rest of the audience. It’s rare to spot a skilled magician’s tricks, […]

The narrative arc described by Kurt Vonnegut

This courtesy of Nicholas Bate; Kurt Vonnegut describes the power of the narrative arc (or arcs): Nicholas’ post here The original post and video, on aeon, here Handy infographics designed from Vonnegut’s work, here And, more on the late, great Mr Vonnegut here and here.   Image:  

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